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Daniela Kostova presents exhibition in Sofia focusing on paradoxes of isolation

Photo: private library

The pandemic has changed many things in our lives, in our work, in our behavior and sensitivity. This change is the connecting line in a new exhibition entitled "Storms, Park and Princesses with Hair Rollers", opening on April 16 in the "Structura" Gallery in Sofia. It is also a reason for its author Daniela Kostova to be back in her native Bulgaria.

She was born in Sofia, where she graduated from the National Academy of Arts in 1998 and "after some time of experimentation" went to study at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. After graduation she was invited to become part of the lecturing team of the institute, where she currently teaches.

Daniela has been working with the so-called unconventional forms of art since her time as a student in Sofia. Her works are hybrids between contemporary Western art activism and classical Bulgarian style. According to her, it is very important to look at the culture you carry through the prism of a different place.Such an experience provides more information about who we actually are. In this connection, back in 2006 she made the documentary “Body without Organs. Bulgarian Bar”, which is a kind of a study on the changes of local culture, aesthetics and understanding of it outside the country, especially in a cosmopolitan city like New York. Daniela Kostova’s works have been exhibited all over the world, but Bulgaria has always been a part of these works and these days her homeland hosts her latest exhibition called "Storms, Park and Princesses with Hair Rollers".


"After I went to New York, I continued my relationship with Bulgaria and very often I worked together with Bulgarian curators,” the artist says in an interview with BNR’s Hristo Botev program. “My personal story and the way I see things are strongly influenced by the place I grew up in, the people I worked with, my development as an artist. This dialogue is very constructive but it also brings me down to earth in some way. Curator Ilina Koralova and I established contact three years ago. Many ideas were born and some of them are now part of this exhibition.”


The exhibition features three works created in the period February 2020 - February 2021 and is the artist’s personal perspective on a special, strange and even crazy moment that we have been experiencing. “With a hint of irony, Storms, Park and Princesses with Hair Rollers reflects the paradoxes of (self-)isolation and the awareness of the importance of social contact, as well as (self-) restrictions and the growing desire to remove them,” the author of the exhibition says and adds:


"From the very beginning of the pandemic, the topic of design grabbed my attention, because it was clear that the situation would affect all spheres of our lives; because of the distance caused by masks, the signs everywhere. We see a change in the environment design, but also a change in the design of our relationships. In New York, for example, restaurants everywhere added some semi-finished outbuildings, created with very cheap materials that have completely changed the environment. Somehow, the stability we used to see around is increasingly diminishing. The previous materialness related to a certain standard is not the same. At the moment, everything is under question including our entire material culture."

Compiled by: Vessela Krasteva /based on an interview by Diana Popova, BNR - "Hristo Botev"/

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: private library, structura.gallery and Daniela Kostova/ facebook

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